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Thread: 408 single coil noise

  1. #1
    Junior Member Aubs's Avatar
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    408 single coil noise

    My 408 has some noise when I have one single coil on in neck, both, and bridge positions. If I have both single coils on in middle position, the noise is not there. It is the typical single coil hum/buzz. Is that normal for this guitar?

  2. #2
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    I get some hum too with my 408 too when in single coil mode.
    Depending also on what amp I am using, I get grounding sound issues when touching/not touching the strings.
    Does not happen when using a solid state amp.

  3. #3
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Completely normal behaviour.
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  4. #4
    Single coils of every type - not just 408s - tend to pick up a little more hum. A true single coil pickup is just that way, and that's why they invented humbucking pickups. But they sound more clear, so there's that good quality that offsets the issue.

    In the middle position the noise from both single coils cancels out because it's 180 degrees out of phase (the principle that makes humbucker guitars less noisy, makes balanced audio lines less noisy, etc.).

    I find that the noise when I've switched to single coils on my 408 or my former Sig Ltd far less than the noise on other single coil pickups I've owned.

    You can orient yourself away from power transformers and light dimmers, computer and tv monitors, etc., to reduce the noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    Depending also on what amp I am using, I get grounding sound issues when touching/not touching the strings.
    Does not happen when using a solid state amp.


    Tube amps have larger transformers in general than SS amps, and radiate more RFI/EMI that the pickups will sense. And different makers employ different grounding schemes. If it's really awful, though, you might have some kind of ground loop that sometimes makes the problem worse. Do you normally use a pedalboard?
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-08-2014 at 10:49 AM.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Aubs's Avatar
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    Thank you all much for the help. I just wanted assurance that it was normal with the 408. Sounds like it is. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Single coils of every type - not just 408s - tend to pick up a little more hum. A true single coil pickup is just that way, and that's why they invented humbucking pickups. But they sound more clear, so there's that good quality that offsets the issue.

    In the middle position the noise from both single coils cancels out because it's 180 degrees out of phase (the principle that makes humbucker guitars less noisy, makes balanced audio lines less noisy, etc.).

    I find that the noise when I've switched to single coils on my 408 or my former Sig Ltd far less than the noise on other single coil pickups I've owned.

    You can orient yourself away from power transformers and light dimmers, computer and tv monitors, etc., to reduce the noise.



    Tube amps have larger transformers in general than SS amps, and radiate more RFI/EMI that the pickups will sense. And different makers employ different grounding schemes. If it's really awful, though, you might have some kind of ground loop that sometimes makes the problem worse. Do you normally use a pedalboard?
    You no longer have your sig.limited ? Do you prefer the 408 to it ? Can you explain why...Please .

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    You no longer have your sig.limited ?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    Do you prefer the 408 to it ?
    I like them both exactly the same. Both are incredible guitars. I'm not certain I could tell the difference between them recorded, though the 408 has a trem, so that's at least different.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    Can you explain why...Please .
    I had an offer I couldn't refuse on the Sig.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-08-2014 at 09:05 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  8. #8
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post

    Tube amps have larger transformers in general than SS amps, and radiate more RFI/EMI that the pickups will sense. And different makers employ different grounding schemes. If it's really awful, though, you might have some kind of ground loop that sometimes makes the problem worse. Do you normally use a pedalboard?[/FONT]
    I cannot remember if I have tried any of the tube amps without my pedal board which uses a Voodoo power supply.
    With the solid state amps I have not tried hooking up the pedal board to them yet.
    Will have to experiment.

    Also all of my amps are run through one of those Furmen outlets.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    I cannot remember if I have tried any of the tube amps without my pedal board which uses a Voodoo power supply.
    With the solid state amps I have not tried hooking up the pedal board to them yet.
    Will have to experiment.

    Also all of my amps are run through one of those Furmen outlets.
    Unless the Furman thing has balanced power and a 75 pound isolation transformer, it's not really doing anything except being a surge protector. The tiny power fluctuations that occur during the day aren't an issue for guitar equipment; the reason they were originally needed was because early digital gear like signal processors, synths, and computers (we are going back to the late 80s here) was sensitive to power fluctuations and a tiny brownout would scramble their memories. That is no longer the case, either.

    Amps don't generally need surge protection. Some digital pedals might possibly benefit from it if they're 25 years old.

    They do nothing whatsoever for either ground loops or the EMI/RFI picked up by pickups, cables, poorly designed equipment, etc. In fact, some of the surge protection devices can add noise (this was proven to me on a 'scope by my studio tech).

    The only truly useful thing 99% of these do is allow one to rack mount the plugs and switch in a convenient spot (which if you have rack gear is kind of a good thing), and make the owner feel good.

    If you need true AC filtering and AC line noise reduction, and some truly do, you need balanced power and true isolation transformers. Balanced power works like a hum bucking pickup to cancel out AC line noise, and it will in fact reduce your noise floor by about 6-10 db in the real world. But even balanced AC will not eliminate ground loops or noise from poorly grounded equipment, nor will it eliminate noise induced by such things as wall warts, etc. In other words, any problems that occur post-transformer aren't going to be solved by the line filtering, etc, with the sole exception of AC noise from power cables that can affect adjacent signal cables.

    A decent 1KVA AC balanced power isolation transformer with good filtering weighs about 75 pounds, but they are available for rack mounting. Furman makes a few, the IT-1220 was popular among studio owners, but I think Equi=Tech has the most experience with this equipment and makes some great products, including stuff an electrician can wire in:

    http://www.equitech.com
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-09-2014 at 10:47 AM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    No.



    I like them both exactly the same. Both are incredible guitars. I'm not certain I could tell the difference between them recorded, though the 408 has a trem, so that's at least different.



    I had an offer I couldn't refuse on the Sig.




    THANK YOU...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    THANK YOU...
    Welcome!

    Incidentally, I really dug the Sig. The deal involved a microphone I needed, which is why it was good for me. However, I missed the Sig. When I had the opportunity to get a nice 408 I went for it.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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